New Report on 2017 Giving Highlights Philanthropy's Uncertain Future

The 2018 Giving USA report was recently released, and it paints an optimistic, but potentially troubling picture, for nonprofit fundraising. Total giving in 2017 was up by three percent to a total of $410.02 billion. However, according to Nonprofit Quarterly, that number doesn’t tell the whole story. Importantly, NPQ writes, “more and more dollar donors are flowing into repositories like foundations and donor-advised funds, where some or all of it will be held for an extended period of time before it gets to a working nonprofit.”

This trend is partly due to an increase in mega-givers that are donating upwards of $200 million. Mega-gifts often funnel into intermediaries before making their way to the organizations on the ground.

Why might this be cause for concern? Direct service organizations “would generally give out the money they raised within the year, while donor-advised funds have a payout rate each year of 15 to 20 percent. And, of course, foundations pay out more in the range of five percent. Thus, the amount of money going into foundations and donor-advised funds may mitigate what nonprofits experience in their budgets relative to the numbers overall, and much of that money is still under the control of the donor, since most are living.”

You can read the full article from NPQ here.

Published: June 10, 2018